4 minute read44 facts about the MMRCA

1. French naval Rafales were once ‘nailed to the ground’ after a virus infection.

2. Eurofighter came across as apparently almost as cheap as the Gripen in Austria on the basis of one instance of its payment plan.

3. Some believed that the selection of the GE414 engine for LCA over Eurojet meant Gripen, F/A-18 had an edge in the MMRCA.

4. Contrary to popular belief, the MMRCA tender process was not completely spotless.

5. Boeing offered more power for the F/A-18 SuperHornet it offered for the contest.

6. The previous IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, apprehended graft complaints by the losers to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner.

7. The Eurofighter is the only aircraft of the MMRCA-6 that has never given a back-seat ride to any Indian.

8. Only the MiG-35 has never been in a combat operation, after Libya 2011.

9. How long to sign on the Rafale? IAF Mirage-2000 upgrade took 5 years to bargain to USD 2.4 B & USD 1.23 B for MICA missiles.

10. Normally, the Ministry of Defense sends loser the letter and calls winner in for a chat. In the case of the MMRCA, it was the reverse.

11. The F-16 aircraft has a really stiff joystick on the right side of the seat.

12. All you TopGun fans, that fighter was the F-14. Tomcat pilots initially hated the idea of converting to Hornets.

13. The F-16 is flown by 24 other countries. 25, now, with the Iraqi order.

14. Even after selection of Rafale, all 5 other aircraft cos wait with curiosity. Yes they do. Context.

15. The math for comparing the bids of Rafale & Eurofighter was completed by the 1st week of Dec 2011.

16. The contest is governed by 2006 rules, though rules were last updated in Jan 2011 | StratPost

17. Indian security minsters group can disregard the lowest bid and award the contract for strategic reasons.

18. Rafale won only because Eurofighter was the only other aircraft shortlisted.

19. Gripen replaced MiG-21 in the Czech Republic and Eurofighter replaced MiG-29 in Germany (brought about to replace the F-4).

20. This is how Gripen operates off public roads.

21. Gripen is the only aircraft built by UN Security Council non-member, hence claimed to be free of political considerations.

22. Proof of concept: F/A-18 can operate off public roads too.

23. Only F/A-18 SuperHornet & F-16IN of the six aircraft satisfy the key IAF requirement of an operational AESA radar.

24. The F-16IN had the single most powerful engine of all 6 aircraft in the competition.

25. F/A-18 Super Hornet was accused of being underpowered, inspite of having offered a more powerful engine.

26. Rafale pissed off the UAE last year when a newspaper owned by Dassault said Israel provided it security assistance.

27. Rafale lost to F-16 in Morocco and Sarkozy said ‘the better aircraft won’ (see Wikileaks).

28. India will be the first and largest export customer for the Rafale if the contract is signed.

29. Rafale was once thrown out of the contest.

30. At the time of being kicked out, the excuse given was Rafale had low thrust to weight ratio .

31. Eurofighter’s left wing built in Italy, right in Spain & fuselage divided between UK & Germany.

32. Four of the six aircraft also made offers to Indian Navy, even though only 2 of them were carrier capable. F-35 JSF also pitched.

33. Eurofighter and Gripen offered Indian Navy a carrier-borne naval concept. F/A-18 SuperHornet & Rafale were other two.

34. The 4 aircraft ejected from the contest have only recently begun having their bid documentation returned to them.

35. IAF considered a total of 643 parameters to test the six aircraft in field evaluation trials.

36. Four of the six aircraft were ejected from the contest exactly the day before their commercial bids were to expire.

37. The contest saw lost files & attempted bribery at the Bangalore Air Show, AeroIndia.

38. The last US ambassador to India resigned the day after both the two US aircraft were ejected.

39. The F-35 JSF is waiting in the wings it it doesn’t work out. Kinda: US offers India the JSF.

40. Rules require MMRCA winner to plow back 50% of the order value into Indian industry.

41. The cost of the Rafale and Eurofighter was evaluated from the exchange rate at the Parliament Street branch of the State Bank of India in New Delhi.

42. Dassault stock rose 22% when the Rafale was announced L1, but could practically benefit only stockholders with 3.13% share.

43. EADS, one of the parent companies of the Eurofighter, owns 46% of Dassault, the manufacturer of the Rafale.

44. This contest tested all six aircraft by requiring them to land and take off from the highest altitude, ever.

  3 comments for “4 minute read44 facts about the MMRCA

  1. Kronenbergel
    February 28, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Fact #27 is not exactly true.  Rafale did not “lose to F-16″ in Morocco.  Rather, Morocco opted for cheap second-hand F-16 from the USAF after it failed to find money for the Rafales.  At no point did Morocco run a competitive bid that pitted the two platforms against one another.  And Sarkozy said the Americans “made a better offer,” not that the US fighter is better than the French one.  The Rafales-to-Morocco case was seen as a self-inflicted fiasco for France’s arms exports business.  When Morocco contacted its main ally in Europe to buy jet fighters, Paris proposed the Rafale, an offer that was criticised within the French defence establishment itself: people argued the Rafale was too sophisticated and expensive for a poor country like Morocco and that it would have been more reasonable to offer second-hand Mirage 2000s. Worse, Paris then failed to offer Morocco the financial help it needed to buy the Rafales, so Rabat opted for the cheap American alternative.  Sarkozy was asked about that on his first visit to Morocco and answered diplomatically by saying Morocco chose the offer that best suited it.

    So claiming that “Rafale lost to F-16 in Morocco” is somewhat stretching it.   

So what do you think?